When my hubby got home from work today we did something we've been talking about doing but have been forced to delay because of rainy weather. We cleaned up the debris from the garden area, the flower pots on the front steps and pruned some of the grapevines. It was cool today, but at least it wasn't too cool. With this reprieve from the drizzling rain we took our opportunity to get outside and take care of the yard a bit.
This set of grapevines shown here is on the back side of our property. It forms a nice barrier between our backyard patio and the neighbor's backyard. For whatever reason these vines never really produce much fruit. We pretty much just let them grow wild and thick to obscure the view between the yards. It makes a great backdrop for the other plantings back here.
We put in this set of grapes several years ago between our yard and the neighbors to the north of us. This year was the first year with a very robust crop of grapes. I was a bit disappointed to find out they had seeds. When we purchased them at the greenhouse I could have sworn they were labled as seedless. Other than that, they're very tasty as sweet green grapes for eating. We made some juice from them this year - strained the seeds and skins. It was good, but had a greenish cast to it (from the skins I would assume). The appearance of the juice was not like the white grape juice you get at the store - although it tasted just as good. It wasn't clear juice. I'll have to look into that for next year to see what to do differently. I did some research on a few websites, but most info is on purple concord grapes, not green grapes. It could be a matter of straining the juice through a finer mesh than cheese cloth.
This set of concord grapes, along with those in the back, were here when we purchased the house. We've long pruned and cut back these vines numerous times over the years. They always flourish nicely. This summer was an exceptionally good year for grapes. We had more than usual when we harvested them. We made juice and lots of jars of jelly.
This is just some of the vines that were lopped off when we started pruning the grapes. Most of these in fact were overgrowth from the back set of vines that grew up and over the shed and the among the branches of the lilac bushes that surround the shed. There were very little grapes to harvest on this set, just lots of vines growing rampant. We pulled them all down out of the trees and lilac bushes. They reached nearly to the phone lines than run along the back of the lot. It's time to trim back some of the lilac bushes again this year. They're reaching up and over the wires as well. We often see the squirrels run from tree to tree and along the vines to the wires. They can cross the yard, above the dogs, without having to touch the ground.
At first I was going to just try to wrap the vines to wrangle them into a trash bag. Since I had such nice long pliable vines I thought it was worth while to form some grapevine wreaths. I managed to create four of them before it got too dark. My hubby continued to prune more and cleared through some other yard chores while I wrestled with grapevines. I had gloves on and my regular reading glasses. Good thing, too. Those vines get to whipping around while I worked to untangle them. That smarts when the tips lash out at you when untangling them. You definitely need protection when you're vine wrestling. LOL!
This is a close up of one of the four wreaths I created today. There are still lots and lots of vines laying out there on the patio to form into wreaths. If I get another nice day outside tomorrow I'm planning on going outdoors to create more wreaths. The vines will only stay pliable for a short while after being cut. After tomorrow they'll likely become too dry and brittle to work with. There are still more vines to cut from the other two sets of grapevines . . . so could be lots more wreaths to come. It mainly just depends upon the weather and how long I want to stand out there and wrangle vines.
As a thank you to my blog readers -- and all you creative types who enjoy decorating with wreaths -- I will gladly offer up three of these wreaths FREE for the taking to three randomly selected blog readers who post a comment here. This FREE offer is open for the next two weeks through Nov. 4th. I'll draw three winner's names on Nov. 5th and mail one wreath to each of three winners as soon as I get your mailing address. (Sorry, I have to limit this to U.S. residents only please). All you have to do to enter: Please leave a comment indicating how you would use your wreath. Do you decorate for fall? winter? holidays? floral wreaths throughout the year? Will you use it on the wall? on the table as a candle centerpiece? or something else?